ILWACO - The Ilwaco City Council discussed updating the city's water and sewer rate structure duting their meeting Monday.

Councilman Fred Marshall, who has been working on the update, said the council "wants to streamline the administration procedures for billing" for water and sewer. "We can make a couple of changes to the ordinance to make it easier to read."

Marshall cited examples for simplifying the ordinance, such as ceasing to split commercial structures into spaces. "We don't want to do that any more," he said. He also addressed how overdue bills are dealt with.

The city should begin "consumption-based" billing, Marshall said. Rates are 5.4 cents per cubic foot for minimum usage and 1.4 cents for usage over the minimum. "This encourages usage," he said. "This is backwards. We're intent on conservation of water and want to raise the overage charge then see what the impact is. We also need to define what is a 'building,'" he said, referring to inconsistencies in billing for trailer and RV parks and for hotels and motels. Fees for removal of meters also need to be clarified, he said.

Councilman Mike Cassinelli asked that a public workshop be held to discuss changes in detail. "This is a lot to digest," he said.

Mayor Doug Hubbard noted that the revised ordinance is a first draft. "It would be good to discuss it publicly and get feedback," he said. "We need to make it as equitable as possible."

"This is good work," Councilman David Fritts said. "We need to start somewhere."

The council will consider proposed changes so they can be voted on in the near future.

Long Beach Police Department Chief Flint Wright complimented the Ilwaco City Council Monday night on the city's fireworks show at the Port of Ilwaco.

"It was a pleasure to police" the event, he said. Hubbard agreed with Wright. "It was a nice family event," he said. It was well-attended and well-received. It's very good the the community."

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